Archive for August 2010

Slack Tide

Wow, it’s musty in here, like a summer cabin just opened for the season.  Let’s throw the windows open and let some of these soft August zephyrs waft through.  I’ve been busy working, of course, and playing music.  Also screwing around with Facebook’s empty calories instead of attempting more substantial fare here.  Let’s press the “reset” button.

It’s August already, and I’m starting to get that panicky sense again that summer is leaking away like air from a punctured beach ball and I’m rummaging through drawers trying to find an old bicycle patch kit, or at least some duct tape.

I was in Milwaukee week before last and was dismayed reading accounts from my paddling network of expeditions to the San Juan Islands and Canada’s Broken Group, so I sent out a plea for an overnight trip when I got back to town.  Several folks responded, and five of us ended up launching from the town of Shelton, near Olympia, and paddling to Hope Island State Park to camp for a night.

My employment is kind of curious in that I usually don’t get a ton of pressure from a single source, as a corporate employee might, but, because I am working with multiple clients at any point in time, a confluence of relatively minor problems can creep up on me like a sneaker wave, and I’m surprised to find myself stressed when there’s no huge problem.  And each client is thinking, “WTF?  I’m not asking for anything that complicated!”

So it was exhilarating to glide into the placid waters of Hammersley Inlet and let my cares slake away with each rhythmic slap of water against my hull.  By the time we completed our 7-mile ride and beached on the island, I was so relaxed.  Here’s a slideshow from the trip.

We harvested oysters and had them for dinner, assisted each other in sharpening rescue and rolling skills, watched seals showing off and basked in balmy August sunshine.

As we paddled back up Hammersley Inlet to our launch point in Shelton, we dawdled along the southern shore, waiting for the flood tide to give us a little push against the headwind.  To our amazement, we encountered a galaxy of starfish festooned along miles of the shore.  I have a waterproof case for one of my cameras, and I pushed it underwater a couple times to capture spider crabs, sea anemones and starfish cohabiting on logs and rocks:

If you see a guy giving CPR to a beachball here in Seattle, you’ll know that it’s me trying to salvage some more remarkable experiences from this 61st summer of my life.  If I bat it in your direction, as I did with my paddling buddies last weekend, take a second and bat it back.  You might just find yourself enjoying yourself.